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Salty Dog

8 Filipinos Die of Drowning Every Day

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Salty Dog
 
Posted by maryannemctighe on July 19, 2015 in Asia- Pacific, Pulse 2015, Save the Children
 
The recreational activity of swimming has been recorded since prehistoric times. Yes it really has. I did the research. The earliest recording of swimming dates back to Stone Age paintings from around 10000 years ago. You can find written references dating as far back as 2000 BC. Some of the earliest references to swimming are mentioned in the Bible.
 
For most of my life, when summer rolls around, I look forward to doing laps around the pool. While on a tropical vacation. I absolutely love jumping in the ocean or heading out on a scuba dive. Yet, something which seems so simple to me, is terrifying to so many here in the Philippines.
 
Seventy eight percent of children here can’t swim and it is one of the leading causes of death. “About eight persons die everyday due to drowning and that more were reported to be victims of near drowning (10 cases per day),” a Philippine report presented at the World Conference on Drowning Prevention (WCDP) 2011 said. Children were found to be more prone to or at risk of drowning.
 
It doesn’t stop there. Most adults, including many Save the Children staff, can’t either. I find many sit wearing their sunglasses poolside or get in the ‘sea’ to about knee level at company activities. That’s as far as their skills go. One staff member here drown last year after accidentally falling in the water.
 
This is far from unusual globally: according to the International Swimming Association (ISA), one in five children in the world are unable to swim – more than nine million people – despite swimming being the one of most popular participation activities in so many countries. School swimming lessons are not easily found in third world countries. So many Philippine children grow up with a fear of the water. And yet, this country is home to the three of the top five most beautiful islands in the world. Ironic, isn’t it? The ocean is breathtakingly beautiful, not to mention as warm as bath water.
 
Can you imagine sitting by a pool somewhere on a blistery hot day and being afraid to jump in to cool off? Many Filipinos I have spoken to, acknowledge it would be nice to go in and have a swim, but they don’t have a way to go out and learn. Introduce your Pulse volunteer, Maryanne, and we have a solution.
 
I remember arriving here a little over a month ago. I wondered how I could make sustainable change. What strengths could I tap into to come up with outside the box solutions? How could I help the children? Could I do more outside of my work day? I have come up with one idea. I am giving free swimming lessons to Save The Children staff, children, friends, anyone who desires.
 
It is so rewarding to see a child’s face the first time they dunk under water or swim a few feet.
 
I also helped a fifty six year old woman swim for the first time. She and I shared a tear of joy after she swam across a pool to me.
 
A coworker I taught told me, ‘With someone next to me I found I can tread water and get away from the wall – I feel much more confident now.’ For these Filipinos, learning to swim is a sustainable change, not to mention it could save their life. Typhoons happen so often here. It is easy to suddenly find yourself in water unexpectedly.
 
In closing, perhaps you have a skill, something you take for granted, that someone you know struggles with. I suggest writing down what you are good at to discover this. Maybe you too can make an improvement in someone’s life.
 

 

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fordtech

I really dont get it, a island nation with so many people that cant swim. 

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jtmwatchbiz

I really dont get it, a island nation with so many people that cant swim. 

 

 

well if you think about it,  any local who doesn't have much money has very little choice for beaches in cebu city.  it's not like it's one jeep ride to the sandy shore.  most shoreline around this city and others are commercial and industrial areas.

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Salty Dog

well if you think about it,  any local who doesn't have much money has very little choice for beaches in cebu city.  it's not like it's one jeep ride to the sandy shore.  most shoreline around this city and others are commercial and industrial areas.

 

My in laws go to the beach often because they live close to one.

 

While they aren't afraid to get into the water. Not one of them can swim.

Edited by Salty Dog
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hilyfe

I find it hard to believe really

I have never met a filipino who doesnt know how to swim

Hell when i was young me and my friends hang out at the river all day

Our eyes turning red we still swimming jumping off the bridge

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KID

I don't get it

 

Teaching your kids to swim is a survival skill that plays second only to teaching them to looking both ways while crossing the street IMHO

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smokey

I don't get it

 

Teaching your kids to swim is a survival skill that plays second only to teaching them to looking both ways while crossing the street IMHO

mine can swim but for survival i let them target practice 

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Headshot

My in laws go to the beach often because they live close to one.

 

While they aren't afraid to get into the water. Not one of them can swim.

 

Same here. My wife and daughter know how to swim because I taught them...but nobody else in my wife's family knows how to swim. It is why so many people drown when ferries go down here. Many wonder why people who can't swim would get on a ferry. Then again, not many people who travel on airlines know how to fly either.

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BossHog

Everybody in my clan can swim and are good at it.

 

The boys are used to diving for shellfish while huffing a compressor tube.

 

The women swim and collect the agar-agar.

 

The kids basically grew up in and around the ocean and can swim, surf, and sail.

 

Don't understand.

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Kabisay-an gid

It is why so many people drown when ferries go down here.

I'd say not having a life vest on is the primary reason. These ferries are traveling in ocean waters with very substantial waves and currents. Even many good swimmers won't survive for long without a vest if rescuers don't get there promptly.

 

In comparison, about 10 people a day drown in the USA:

 

Overview

"Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.1

 

How big is the problem?

From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.2 About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.2 For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.1"

 

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

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Salty Dog

I'd say not having a life vest on is the primary reason. These ferries are traveling in ocean waters with very substantial waves and currents. Even many good swimmers won't survive for long without a vest if rescuers don't get there promptly.

 

In comparison, about 10 people a day drown in the USA:

 

Overview

"Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.1

 

How big is the problem?

From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.2 About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.2 For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.1"

 

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

 

But the US has 3 times the population of the Philippines with nearly the same amount of reportable drowning deaths. There is also a much better chance that there are a larger amount of unreported drowning deaths in the Philippines as well.

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Raven

"We crawled through Philippines’ laws and school regulations, but couldn’t find that swimming is somewhere included in the school sports program. There are two Republic Acts, #6847 which creates and establishes the Philippine Sports Commission, and #10588 which establishes nationwide Olympic-like games (Palarong Pambansa).
We have talked to teachers and students and found that swimming lessons in school start only at college level. Not all colleges offer swimming lessons and  not all reach college grade." (Source)

 

Private Initiative in Camiguin - swimming pool for the kid’s training

 

Some more classes at Corpus Christi School...

 

Summer Learn to Swim Program

10689445_654365481356584_319579730121177

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KID

$70 usd ?

 

For $10

 

I will take them down to the pier------- throw them off----- Then poke them with long poles till the learn how to swim :)

 

Hey, That's how the Marine corps taught my pop how to swim  :ROFLMAO:

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jtmwatchbiz

 

 

My wife and daughter know how to swim because I taught them.

 

 

my wife knew how to swim since she way back when was just a toddler but so far our 7 yr old kid hasn't caught on yet.  i think i could use some tips on how to teach her.  

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easy44

I really dont get it, a island nation with so many people that cant swim. 

Most Filipinos spend little or no time in, on, or around the ocean.  A high percentage live in highly urbanized areas with no or very few public swimming pools and even the rural Filipinos rarely go to the beach (unless they happen to live close to one), except on special occasions.

 

The closest most Filipinos get to the ocean is on a ferry and then only occasionally so it really isn't surprising that few know how to swim.

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